National Bank of Canada

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National Bank of Canada
Traded asTSXNA
S&P/TSX 60 component
Founded1859 [1][2]
HeadquartersMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Key people
Louis Vachon (CEO)
ProductsFinancial services, Commercial banking
RevenueIncrease C$6.6 billion (F2017)[3]
Increase C$2.0 billion (F2017)[3]
Total assetsIncrease C$246 billion (F2017)[3]
Number of employees
21,635 (F2017)[3]

The National Bank of Canada (French: Banque Nationale du Canada) is the sixth largest commercial bank in Canada. It is headquartered in Montreal, and has branches in most Canadian provinces and 2.4 million personal clients.[4] National Bank is the largest bank in Quebec, and the second largest financial institution in the province, after Desjardins credit union. National Bank's Institution Number is 006 and its SWIFT code is BNDCCAMMINT.

As of October 31, 2017, National Bank had a network of 429 branches and 931 automated teller machines in Canada.[3] It also had a number of representative offices, subsidiaries and partnerships in other countries, through which it serves Canadian and non-Canadian clients.

In 2011, National Bank was placed third in Bloomberg's list of "The World’s Strongest Banks".[5]

National Bank's business is concentrated in Quebec, and it is expanding in other provinces. For the year ending October 31, 2017, 59% of its total revenues were from Quebec, 30% from other provinces, and 11% from its international operations.[3] Its total revenue for the year were allocated across business segments:

  • 44.8% from Personal and Commercial Banking,
  • 23.5% from Wealth Management,
  • 23.8% from Financial Markets, and
  • 7.9% from U.S. Specialty Finance and International.[3]


The headquarters of the National Bank of Canada is located in Tour de la Banque Nationale.
National Bank of Canada Office in Toronto.
National Bank of Canada in Richmond Hill

In 1859, francophone businessmen in Ontario and Quebec were keen to establish a bank under their local control, and persuade the provincial legislature to pass the act that created the Banque Nationale on May 4, 1859. Some members of the anglophone bourgeoisie participated in the bank’s share capital, but francophones retained exclusive control and held all seats on the board of directors with Ulric-Joseph Tessier, lawyer and Member of the Legislative Assembly serving as chairman of the bank.

The bank suffered losses during the banking crisis sparked by the financial panic of 1873 and panic of 1884 but managed to survive and continued to operate. In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, Banque Nationale again came under financial stress; this time a merger was arranged with Banque d’Hochelaga assisted by the province's legislature to strengthen the bank. The merged bank was renamed "Banque Canadienne Nationale" (BCN) (English, "Canadian National Bank").

In 1968, BCN, in conjunction with a number of other banks, launched Chargex, the first credit card to be issued by a Canadian bank.

During the 1970s, Quebec-based rival Provincial Bank of Canada expanded rapidly through a number of acquisitions. It merged with the People’s Bank in 1970, with the Toronto-based Unity Bank of Canada, and in 1979 it acquired Laurentide Financial Corporation of Vancouver. Provincial Bank and BCN continued to expand but continued to have a large part of their operations concentrated in Quebec. In November 1979, these two banks decided to merge under the new name" National Bank of Canada" in what was at the time one of the largest bank mergers.

Through the 1980s the bank continued to grow and expand its businesses through a number of acquisitions, including the brokerage firm Lévesque Beaubien and a year later Geoffrion Leclerc, which became known as Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion. In 1993, it sold its lease financing operations to GE Capital and acquired the assets of General Trust of Canada.

In 1994, it made a small step outside Canada when it opened two branches in the United States, one in Florida and one in California. In 1995 the bank opened a representative office in Cuba to assist Canadian clients doing business in the country.[6] In 1999 it concluded its purchase of First Marathon, a Toronto-based brokerage firm. First Marathon and the Bank's subsidiary Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion Inc. merged their operations to form National Bank Financial (NBF), its investment banking subsidiary. In 2002 it acquired US-based investment bank Putnam Lovell and merged the operations with its NBF subsidiary which started operating through offices in New York, Toronto, and London.

In March 2006, it sold its shareholder management services to Computershare.[7]

In 2007, president and CEO Réal Raymond retires. He is succeeded by Louis Vachon, former president and COO.

In 2008, the Bank acquires four independent full-service brokerage firms, expanding its presence in Toronto and Winnipeg and reinforcing its leadership in the Quebec market. On May 4, 2009, National Bank celebrates its 150th anniversary.

In 2011, it acquires Wellington West Holdings Inc., one of the leading independent full service wealth management firms in Canada, and the year later, the full service investment advisory business of HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc. The Bank also merges its Natcan asset management subsidiary with Fiera Capital Corporation, and acquires a strategic interest in the firm, making Fiera one of the largest independent portfolio managers in Canada.

During 2012, National Bank also plays a pivotal role, as part of a group of 12 major Canadian banks and pension funds, in the acquisition of TMX Group. In 2013, the bank announces the largest donation in its history: $10 million to Campus Montréal for the creation of the National Bank | HEC Montréal Institute for Entrepreneurship.

In November 2013, National Bank finalizes the acquisition of TD Waterhouse Institutional Services (TDWIS). This transaction marks another major milestone in the Canada-wide expansion of the Bank’s wealth management sector.

Management structure[edit]

The management structure of the bank consists of an Office of the President[8] and a board of directors.[9] The membership of the two structures as at 2015 are:

Office of the President[edit]

  • Louis Vachon, president and chief executive officer
  • William Bonnell, executive vice-president – risk management
  • Dominique Fagnoule, executive vice-president – information technology
  • Martin Gagnon, co-president and co-chief executive officer, National Bank Financial; executive vice-president – wealth management
  • Diane Giard, executive vice-president – personal and commercial banking
  • Denis Girouard, executive vice-president – financial markets
  • Brigitte Hébert, executive vice-president - operations
  • Lynn Jeanniot, executive vice-president – human resources and corporate affairs
  • Ghislain Parent, chief financial officer and executive vice-president – finances and treasury
  • Ricardo Pascoe, chief transformation officer and executive vice-president

Board of directors[edit]

  • Jean Houde, chairman of the board
  • Louis Vachon, president and chief executive officer
  • Raymond Bachand, director
  • Maryse Bertrand, director
  • Pierre Blouin, director
  • Pierre Boivin, director
  • André Caillé, director
  • Gillian H. Denham, director
  • Richard Fortin, director
  • Karen Kinsley, director
  • Lino A. Saputo, Jr., director
  • Andrée Savoie, director
  • Pierre Thabet, director


Subsidiaries as of October 31, 2014:[10]

  • National Bank Life Insurance Company
    • National Bank Insurance Firm Inc.
    • National Bank Planning and Benefits Inc.
  • NBC Alternative Investments Inc.
  • CABN Investments Inc.
  • National Bank Direct Brokerage Inc
  • FBN Funding, LLC
  • National Bank Financial Ltd.
    • NBF Financial Services Inc.
    • NBF Financial Services Ltd
  • Innocap Investment Management Inc.
  • NBCN Inc.
  • Natcan Trust Company
  • National Bank Trust Inc.
  • National Bank Investments Inc.
  • National Founders LP


  1. ^ "Company Profile: National Bank of Canada Inc". Government of Canada. 12 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Who We Are". National Bank Financial. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). National Bank of Canada. December 1, 2017.
  4. ^ "In Brief" (PDF). National Bank of Canada. October 31, 2014.
  5. ^ Greenwood, John (May 9, 2011). "Canadian banks are world's strongest: Bloomberg, Moody's". Financial Post.
  6. ^ "Foreign Banks: National Bank of Canada". Banco Central de Cuba. Retrieved 2017-08-21.
  7. ^ "National Bank History". National Bank of Canada. 2008.
  8. ^ "Governance - Office of the President". National Bank of Canada. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  9. ^ "Governance - Board of Directors". National Bank of Canada. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  10. ^ "Our social responsibility 2015" (PDF). National Bank of Canada. October 31, 2015.

External links[edit]